Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars A great sports book to read!, April 3, 2007
This review is from: Raise the Roof: The Inspiring Inside Story of the Tennessee Lady Vols' Historic 1997-1998 Threepeat Season (Paperback)
"When I said I wouldn't write another book (after Reach for the Summit), I didn't know about this team. I had no idea what a remarkable story the Lady Vols would prove to be, and how much they would accomplish. I didn't know what they would do to me. Usually, it's the coach who changes the team. But in this case, it was the team that changed the coach." (From Raise the Roof)

While this book is all about the Lady Vols 1997-98 season, when Tennessee faced the very real possibility of going for a "Three-peat" (winning 3 NCAA championships in back-to-back years, an incredible accomplishement), it's also a book about the people who made up that season, from the returning veterans (including the amazingly talented Chamique Holdsclaw, before she turned pro) to the "Fab Freshmen Four," and the coaching staff.

This is not a book about the technique or skills or drills that it takes to play basketball at the level of the Lady Vols or try to win another championship. Or necessarily an inside look at what exactly drives Coach Summitt or makes her one of the winning-est coaches in any sport at any level of play.

It is a book about the heart and emotions behind the play on the court. About long trips to play games. About how to make a team anew and creating a new family with them. About the significant games they played in that season and what it took to win them. About the pure fun of spending time together. About the families involved. About the losses these young women had already endured in their lives prior to coming to Tennessee, and how these losses might have motivated them in a particular way to become the type of athletes and students who they became. About a personal loss Coach Summitt experienced that year.

And it's about Coach Summitt, who in the face of her new players, realized that her own coaching style had to change and that she would have to engage differently with this team because of who they were.

The story is written in a a simple format for describing sports: Start with what we know: A truly magnificent season and recreate it. From the first moment when the incoming freshmen players arrive on campus and, after moving into their rooms, play their first game with the other players to feel each other out. Move into the first team meeting of the year. Begin building for the reader the sense that Coach Summitt had that this team had something special in them. Chronicle the small moments making up significant games played that year. Focus on each starting player, including brief interviews with them and their parents. End with the championship game.

By reading this book, you become a part of that history-making season and, in turn, learn much about the heart and emotion and soul of the people involved in that season.

Truly a great book to read!
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Location: East Bay, CA USA

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